What fun! I get the chance to write about the accordion without having to mention zydeco. In LA ÔÇô as in Los Angeles not Louisiana ÔÇô lives a different breed of music with a heartbeat that doesn't always get its share of the spotlight. The Mexican sounds that filled the air of the lower border states have left an everlasting presence on the American musical soundscape. Now everyone knows Los Lobos, some know The Blazers. This is an extended part of the latter's family with some friends.
Jesus Cuevas and Mike Molina, who both did time with the Blazers, started this project in 2004 and year by year added an ingredient. In 2005 bassist James Barrios signed up, and in 2007 the ever-stout Kid Ramos came aboard. Then in 2008 Delta Groove released their first album. Now we sit here with the second helping, Dos.
What enraptures me about this album is its fun feel of southern California sunshine, that flawless weather. Some of the songs sound like they are straight out of a Mexican cantina. Others could be side by side with fellow LA rockers Social Distortion's latest album. And others could be on the next Blues Revue sampler. This album has a little treat for everybody. As Tom Waits sang "There's one thing you can't lose, it's that feel."
Cuevas sings and plays the accordion with a heartfelt compassion that is understood by the best of friends. You feel as if you are one of those. When you add in the hard, tight-knit rhythm section of Molina and Barrios, it's just downright dangerous! I have to admit I listened to the album and got lost for a while just listening to the bass lines. Kid Ramos blends in his guitar licks so well I would have never in a thousand years said it was he on guitar. He's always been a tasty player, but on this album he really uses his tone and flexes where needed.
There are a few knockout songs I have to mention. "The Coffee Song" has a laid-back lost-in-the-haze feel that's just so damn good. Ramos and Cuevas play their parts well, and this is a nice song that you need to find here. It is slower with references to Johnny Cash if you listen closely, but the accordion makes it whisper sweet nothings in your ear.
"My Brother's Keeper" is the burner that let's Ramos really start the song off with some hard tone. Cuevas jumps in, and the two meet up for a boiling hot number. This is the yin to "The Coffee Song's" yang. And to get the dance floor jam packed, Mr. DJ, look no further than "Keep A Knockin'." It's sung partly in English, partly in Spanish and is really propelled by the accordion's pumps. I hardly can sit still while I write this and listen at the same time. I'll just let my fingers do the dancing, though.